Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Seeds of fascism sprout anew in Trump’s America (?)

H.D.S. Greenway below focuses mainly on style and it is true that Trump has a forceful style. But style is not substance and what Greenway omits is that Mussolini was a Marxist and Trump is a capitalist.  Those are REAL differences and they matter.  And the ideology matters too.  Mussolini was a centralizer intent on expanding government control whereas Trump has scrapped regulations by the bagful.   The unending shrieks from the Left should tell you about  that. So the idea that Musso is a forerunner for Trump is a strange comparison indeed.  H.D.S. Greenway should look to policies, not appearances

It is however true that the seeds of Fascism are to be found in the USA.  The constant expansion of government regulation and control under Obama was very Fascist.  It was Fascism with a courteous face but Fascism nonetheless.  Even Hillary's election slogan "better together" was what the Fasces of ancient Rome symbolized and it was that Roman example which Musso adopted as the symbol and name of his party.  Fascism is indeed not far away in the USA. Trump is doing his best to roll it back

Leftists make many attempts to redefine what Italian Fascism was -- some examples below -- so let us look at Mussolini's own summary of the Fascist philosophy: "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato" (Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State).  Clear enough? How does that compare with "Drain the swamp"?

WATCHING DONALD TRUMP on TV whipping up his base of supporters at a rally in Harrisburg, Pa., I had a sudden feeling I had seen this all before. I remembered a speech I had seen on YouTube. It was a speech Mussolini had given in Milan in 1932. I watched it again, and it was all there. The chin thrust, the pouts, the hand gestures, the adoring base cheering every word. He spoke of the might of his army “second to none,” the “injustices committed against us,” and how he had “stormed the old political class.” There was even a complaint about the press that had drawn “arbitrary conclusions” to what he was saying. Mussolini’s Blackshirts, his squads of roughnecks, were used to assaulting reporters they didn’t like.

Today the Italians are an easygoing and generous people. But when Fascism took hold in the early 1920s, Italy became belligerent and bullying. Its concentration camps for the native population in Libya and its use of poison gas became genocidal. And it was quick to join the Nazis in dreams of conquest. Mussolini was telling Italians they had to begin winning again.

In his 2004 book, “The Anatomy of Fascism,” Robert O. Paxton wrote that fascism did not die with the end of World War II, that its seeds were planted “within all democratic countries, not excluding the United States.” According to Paxton, fascism was a “form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood. . . . “Fascism was an affair of the gut more than of the brain.”

Or as R.J.B. Bosworth wrote in his 2005 book “Mussolini’s Italy,” “Border fascism,” an obsession with borders and keeping the population pure, was always a “key strain in the fascist melody,” as was “allowing the nation to stand tall again.” All you needed was a charismatic leader, Mussolini, whom Paxton compared to the modern “media-era celebrity.”

Thirteen years ago Paxton wrote that all that is required for a rebirth of fascism is “polarization, deadlock, mass mobilization against internal and external enemies, and complicity by existing elites. . . . It is of course conceivable that a fascist party could be elected to power in free, competitive elections.”



Governor Gasbag Abuses Taxpayers

California governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a $5.2 billion deal that will raise the tax on gasoline, raise the tax on diesel and raise user fees on motorists. Before the Memorial Day weekend, Brown ranted that those who complain about this tax hike are “freeloaders.” This doesn’t deserve a response, but taxpayers may find one helpful.

The tax hike is intended to fix California’s disastrous roads, but maintenance of roads is already part of California’s budget. Trouble is, as we noted, the California Department of Transportation developed a model for the allocation of maintenance funds but abandoned it because it would have reduced more than 100 Caltrans staff positions. Caltrans distributes funding based the previous spending patterns of the region in question, whatever the road conditions. Taxpayers might also recall that for years the state has diverted $1.5 billion in transportation infrastructure taxes to subsidize California’s General Fund bond payments.

Anybody who drives already pays substantial gas taxes every time they fill up, so in no sense are working motorists “freeloaders.” California workers already pay the highest income and sales taxes in the nation, and they are weary of government shaking them down for more. Taxpayers might note that Brown and the legislature made zero cuts to the state’s bloated bureaucracy and failed to trim wasteful spending. Brown and the legislature could have scrapped the $70 billion “bullet train” boondoggle, and $15 billion to dig tunnels under the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. Fixing the roads and building new ones would be a better application for those funds.

As is happens, Caltrans employs more than 3,000 engineers who basically do nothing but Brown is okay with that sort of parasite, common in state government. The first recourse of California’s hereditary, recurring governor, is to punish the workers with higher taxes and fees then abuse them as “freeloaders.” As working taxpayers may recall, this is the same governor who responded “I mean, look, shit happens,” to safety lapses on the new span of the Bay Bridge, a project that came in 10 years late and $5 billion over budget.



Leftist mob Cheers As Speaker Criticizes U.S. Bombing of ISIS

Hundreds of anti-Trump protesters gathered at the Washington Monument on Saturday in what was billed as a “March for Truth.”

According to the group’s Twitter page, the rally in Washington and other U.S. cities was a call for “urgency and transparency” on the Trump-Russia probe.

At the event, protesters carried signs accusing President Trump of colluding with the Russian government. Signs read “Investigate Trump,” “Liar, liar, Pence on fire,” and “Follow the money.”

The headline speaker at the event was Linda Sarsour, who describes herself as a Palestinian-American-Muslim, civil rights activist, and national co-chair of the Women’s March. Sarsour blamed “right-wing Zionists” for victimizing her, and she also criticized President Trump’s decision to bomb ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.

After her speech, asked Sarsour why she opposed the April 13 airstrike that killed 94 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, but no civilians. Sarsour responded that “civilians were being directly affected.”

“I’m anti-war, and I also didn’t get any confirmation about that, like, did you see a list of these ISIS fighters? I didn’t.”

Both Afghan and U.S. officials confirmed that no civilians died in the airstrike.

Asked if she was okay with the fact that the bomb killed ISIS members, Sarsour replied: “If we are actually not killing civilians, and we’re directly targeting terrorists.”

Sarsour has come under fire for some of her controversial connections and statements. In March, she was arrested for disorderly conduct at the “Day Without A Woman” protest in New York City near Trump Tower.

Sarsour also has called shari’a Law “reasonable” and “misunderstood,” tweeting what she sees as the benefits of shari’a



Whom are you calling crazy?

By Alex Beam, writing in the Boston Globe

IT IS AN article of faith in polite society, where I live in a kind of internal exile, that President Trump is clinically insane.

Here are some headlines from the august New York Times: “Mental Health Professionals Warn About Trump,” “Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill?,” and so on. Before those two articles appeared in February, Sharon Begley of STAT wrote a more convincing and measured overview of head-shrinkers’ thoughts about Trump, cannily titled, “Crazy Like a Fox.”

Trump’s mental state definitely interests me. He seems deeply wounded, frantically impulsive, and obviously capable of endangering the nation and the world. But medicalizing heinous behavior — a favorite pastime of the chattering classes — is counterproductive. Not everyone who is sad is depressed. Not everyone who is excited is manic. Not every miscreant is nuts.

It’s a good idea to leave diagnoses to the diagnosticians, and we don’t have access to any of Trump’s psychiatric records, if such even exist. It should not go unnoticed that the man who literally wrote the book on the “narcissistic personality disorder” so commonly ascribed to Trump, opined, “He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill.”

Dr. Allen Frances, the chairman of the committee that created psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Volume 4, continued: “It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither).”

Mental health professionals should be familiar with the “Goldwater Rule,” which strongly cautions psychiatrists against commenting on the mental state of people they have not examined. The rule harks back to 1964, when several psychiatrists dilated on the mental fitness of the Republican presidential candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater.

Goldwater sued the publication that quoted them, and, in an unusual legal victory for a public figure, won. Savor the irony: Goldwater, a five-term US senator, was about 20 times more qualified to be president than Trump. Talk about defining deviancy down.

There have been other comical attempts at psychoanalyzing presidents. In 1931, the prominent Freudian A.A. Brill published a paper diagnosing Abraham Lincoln as a “manic schizoid personality.” He observed that Lincoln’s famous stories and jokes “are of an aggressive and [sexually masochistic] nature, treating of pain, suffering and death, and that a great many of them were so frankly sexual as to be classed as obscene.”

Simultaneously rebutting and demeaning Freud’s American disciple, analyst Jacob L. Moreno noted that the barely five-foot tall Brill sported a beard and was also named “Abe.” “Brill had waited patiently for a chance to measure up to that other Abe,” Moreno wrote.

In 1967, the retired diplomat William Bullitt published a “psychological study” of Woodrow Wilson purportedly coauthored by Freud, who had been dead for 28 years. The “authors” refered to Wilson as “Tommy” throughout, and attributed his reformist urges in part to an “under-vitalized” mother and “the ego of a boy who has no sister.”

“What a can of worms,” the New York Sun editorialized. “The tome was so weird that it horrified even Harvard’s Erik Erikson,” who called it “a disastrously bad book on Wilson.”

If and when Trump is forced to answer for his many depradations, let’s not rationalize his behavior with a bogus insanity defense.



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C. S. P. Schofield said...

Regarding the fascism of the Obama years, you said "It was Fascism with a courteous face but Fascism nonetheless"

No. It was not courteous. It showed a smiling face to its friends and allies on the Left. To anyone who disagreed with its central premise - that the Government was an acceptable substitute for Mary Poppins on a national scale - it was hectoring, threatening, and often downright rude.

Robert said...

A courteous face, sometimes, but the face was merely a facade for the seething hatred constantly behind it. And the mask frequently slipped, exposing the ugly, satanic character with its hatred for all human beings who oppose being rendered mere slaves of a cruel, callous, greedy government. More and more these days, people are not only revealing who they are, but WHOSE they are - Yahowah's or Satan's - and those on the fence are rapidly shrinking.